The Battle for Takur Ghar (Roberts Ridge) March 4th 2002
Hindu Kush Mountains, Afghanistan
In the late evening of March 3, two SEAL teams, MAKO 30 & MAKO 21, were to arrive in Gardez for immediate insertion into the Shahi-Kot Valley for Operation Anaconda. One of the SEAL teams, MAKO 30, planned to establish an observation point on the peak of Takur Ghar which commanded the Shahi-Kot valley.
The two teams were picked up by two Chinook helicopters, Razor 03 and Razor 04, at 11:23 PM on March 3. An AC-130 gunship, Nail 22, flew a reconnaissance mission over the peak prior to the landing and saw no enemy activity but was called away to support other troops before Razor 03 and 04 arrived at the Landing Zone (LZ).
At around 0245 hours, Razor 03 landed at the LZ and was immediately struck in the left side electrical compartment by an RPG. The stricken helicopter took off but Petty Officer First Class Neil C. Roberts fell out of the open ramp. Razor 03 attempted to return and retrieve him but the damage prevented proper control and the helicopter was forced to crash-land in the valley approximately 7 miles away.
Razor 04 returned to the peak to attempt to rescue Roberts, offloading MAKO 30. The team came under immediate fire and Air Force combat controller Technical Sergeant John A. Chapman was killed and two SEALs wounded. Mako 30 was forced off the peak due to its losses and requested the assistance of the Ranger quick-reaction force located at Bagram Air Base.
The quick reaction force (QRF) consisted of 19 Rangers, a Tactical Air Control Party (TACP), and a three-man USAF special tactics team carried by two Chinooks, Razor 01 and Razor 02. Due to satellite communications difficulties, Razor 01 was mistakenly directed to the "hot" LZ on the peak.
The aircraft immediately began taking fire and the right door minigunner, Sergeant Phillip Svitak, was killed by small arms fire. A RPG then hit the helicopter, destroying the right engine and forcing it to crash land. As the Rangers and special tactics team exited the aircraft Private First Class Matt Commons, posthumously promoted to Corporal, Sergeant Brad Crose, and Specialist Marc Anderson were killed. The surviving crew and quick-reaction force took cover in a hillock and a fierce firefight began.
Razor 02 inserted the other half of the QRF with its force of 10 Rangers at an “offset” landing zone, down the mountain some 800 meters east and over 2,000 feet below the mountaintop. The Rangers’ movement up the hill was a physically demanding 2-hour effort under heavy mortar fire and in thin mountain air. They climbed the 45-70 degree slope, most of it covered in three feet of snow, weighted down by their weapons, body armor and equipment.
By 1030 am local time, the men arrived completely exhausted, with the enemy at the top of the hill a mere 50 meters from their position. As the ten men of Razor 02 arrived, the Rangers prepared to assault the enemy positions. As the Air Force CCT called in a last airstrike on the enemy bunkers and with two machine guns providing suppression fire, seven Rangers stormed the hill as quickly as they could in the knee-deep snow - shooting and throwing grenades. Within minutes, the Rangers took the hill, killing several Taliban fighters.
We had a modern game on Wednesday using Darren's figures. As you can see in the description above we did part of the Battle for Takur Ghar.
Tom and Mick took the Americans while I took the Taliban and Darren was the umpire.
The Rangers evacuate the damaged Chinook.
The Taliban prepare to defend the hill.
The Seal team moves up.
The Seal team takes up a covering position on the rocks.
The Seal team fires at the DShK and lightly wounds the gunner.
The Taliban mortar fires at the Seals but it lands off target.
The DShK fires at the Rangers.
And lightly wounds one.
The Rangers return fire killing one Taliban fighter and the DShK gunner but he is quickly replaced.
The DShK again fires at the Rangers this time killing one and lightly wounding another.
A second unit of Rangers arrives and starts to scale the mountain but with all their equipment it is a very slow climb.
The Seals open fire.
And wound two fighters.
The DShK fires at the Seals and lightly wounds two of them.
The Seals return fire on the DShK and manage to kill the gunner and lightly wound two fighters.
The Rangers by the Chinook open fire and kill two Taliban.
The Rangers surge toward the Taliban position.
A group of Taliban come to aid their comrades.
The Rangers fire and kill two more Taliban.
The DShK is eventually re manned while two more Taliban are wounded.
The other group of Taliban continue to scale the hill.
Another group of Taliban appears.
The Seals call in an air strike on the Taliban position.
All Taliban within the radius of the blast are killed.
Two more Taliban are killed only the DShK remains on the hill.
Seeing their comrades killed the other fighters quicken the pace.
The Rangers continue their charge towards the hilltop.
The Seals move up the hill as another of their number is wounded by mortar fire.
The first unit of Taliban reinforcements finally reach the summit.
Only for an air strike to be called in on their position.
The other unit continues up the hill.
The Rangers and Seals move up the hill.
One fighter is killed in the air strike.
The other unit of fighters move up and open fire on the charging Rangers but they do not hit anyone.
Another air strike is called in.
It kills three more fighters leaving only one from the squad left.
The Rangers return fire and kill all but one Taliban.
The last fighter of the second group fires and suppresses the lead Ranger before being gunned down.
The second group of Rangers finally reach the action.
Only for the last remaining Taliban to run away.
A thoroughly enjoyable game apart from those damn air strikes that crippled my forces.
The rules we used were CONTACT.
Next week possibly Stalingrad.
Thanks for Reading